KayLynn Roberts-McMurray photo
Learning Bridge charter school has had to delay the first day of school until Sept. 4.

The Ely Times

For many students here in White Pine County, school will begin on Monday, Aug. 27, but for Learning Bridge Charter School students, they will get an extra week of summer.

Flood damage was discovered and reported to the Ely Shoshone Tribe, which Learning Bridge leases the building from.  Barney Construction, a local company, responded to the call to assess the damage.

Diane Buckner, chairwoman for the Ely Shoshone Tribal Council, explained that after Barney Construction discovered asbestos in the building, the tribe became extremely cautious in ensuring the building was going to be repaired properly so the children’s safety was not comprised.

Although they wanted school to start on time for Learning Bridge, the tribe wanted to ensure everything was taken care of, and the tribe didn’t face a lawsuit years down the road.

“Those kids are all our kids here in White Pine,” Buckner said. “We want what’s best for our community and we wanted to figure out what the best and safest plan was for them.”

Principal Kristy Sedlacek said the Learning Bridge Board of Directors have been meeting weekly to explore various options.  Delaying the start of school until the building was able to be occupied was one of the options.

Six weeks was the estimated time line given to the Learning Bridge from Barney Construction.

“Student safety is our primary concern,” Sedlacek said. “After dozens of phone calls throughout the community, the Sacred Heart Religious Education Center has been the only available option to accommodate 80 students for a six- week time period.”

As the asbestos abatement began on Monday, Aug. 20, you could see rolls of carpet sitting outside, conex boxes packed with classroom items, and the front door lined with plastic and tape.  This is a part of the process,  taking every precaution possible to ensure the building will be clear of asbestos once the project is completed.

School will begin Tuesday, Sept. 4, at two different sites. The modular buildings on the Pioche Highway will be used as well as the Sacred Heart School building. This is a temporary site until the school, located at 505 South Pioche, is ready for occupancy.

Learning Bridge’s main office will be in the band room located in the modular building. There will be a Learning Bridge secretary at Sacred Heart as well.

Sedlacek, would like to thank the staff, parents and other stakeholders for their understanding during this unforeseen incident.

The back to school night scheduled for Aug. 23 has been postponed at this time.

The school opened in 2013 at the current location, but plans to construct a school of their own are under way. The projection date for the new school is June 2020.